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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Edward Cole's Family, Dorchester, NB

As mentioned in the last blog, Edward’s oldest son, Ebenezer, died at the age of 24, at the home of his parents. Then children #3 and #4 died, leaving Lucinda Jane the oldest of the remaining children. She was 10 years older than my gt. grandmother and what a life she had. I think we have all experienced the feeling that we have a black cloud over our heads, at times. Things just don’t go right, but eventually life resumes a happier note. This can not be said about Lucinda.

Edward’s daughter Lucinda (aka Aunt Lucindy by the family) has become an icon for bad luck and misery in my eyes. Her tale needs to be told, so that others might see what horrendous things befell this woman. Lucinda was b. 1845 and married William Edward Buck, Master Mariner, in 1866. Their 10 children were:

Augusta         (1867-1877)
James A.       (1870-1877)
Ebenezer A.  (1872-1874)
Edith L.          (1876-1877)
William E.      (1878-1878)
Edgar            (1880-1883)
Arabella May (1882- ?) m. 1909, Charles E. Lawrence (1880-?), moved to                                                   Medford MA
Edward LeRoy  (1884-1911) m. 1909, Minnie Bishop (1886-?)
Hurbert         (1886-1887)
Wildie (Will-dee) Edna (1888-1969) m. 1919, Nelson Ward (1879-1953)

Baby Ebenezer lived for about two years and a month and died on Sep. 20 1874. Then, according to the family story, an outbreak of diphtheria and scarlet fever swept through the area in 1877. In July, Lucinda and William lost James on Jul 6, he was 7; then Edith on Jul 14 at age 18 mos.; then Augusta on Jul 16, who had just turned 10. In just 10 days they lost their three surviving children. Their entire family was gone. I’m not sure how any parents can live through this kind of tragedy but they weren’t alone. I have come across other records, for other families, that show several children dying during an epidemic. It does make you appreciate the medical care available to us today.

The road to Lucinda's house.

But they went forward. William E. was born in 1878 but only lived 5 months. Edgar was b. in 1880 but only lived three years, dying in 1883. Arabella (Belle) was born in 1882, Edward LeRoy, b. 1884 and Hurbert was b. in 1886 only to die 11 months later.  Nov. 1887, Lucinda is pregnant once again and the schooner, Arabella, set sail for New York City. The tide was right so the Arabella sailed off, on her maiden voyage, with a full load of lumber, Capt. William Buck and Alexander Chambers, his brother-in-law, as his first mate. There was also a passenger going to the states for a visit.  The Arabella was a new class of sailing vessel designed to be swift, cutting days off the time it took commodities to be traded back and forth with the States.  By piecing together facts and family stories, it can be said the Arabella arrived in NYC, unloaded the timber and reloaded with coal.  They were on their way out of Long Island Sound when an inbound ship hailed them. One of William’s brothers was onboard the hailing ship. They were warned about a dangerous storm off the tip of Cape Cod. They tried to get Capt. Buck to return to port until the storm was over. As the story goes, William was a stubborn sort with a great deal of determination and a fast ship, so he decided to take his chances with the elements. Since this was around Dec. 10, I’d like to believe they wanted to spend Christmas with their families. But we’ll never know for sure as the Arabella went down with no survivors. The passenger had opted to stay in the states for a longer visit so was spared the insanity of a Nor’easter on the open ocean.  So once again there is a death for Lucinda to face. She has the two surviving children and then Wildie is born in Apr. 1888.

Would this not be enough for any person to withstand? Well, for Lucinda – not quite. In 1890 she married Capt. John Cook. She had no means of support so marrying again was almost mandatory if she wanted her remaining children to survive. But fate struck again in 1909 when Capt. Cook was lost at sea.
In the meantime Arabella (Belle) had gone to MA in 1900 and married Charles Edward Lawrence in Apr. 1909. They settled in Medford and had three children. Marguerite and a set of twins Robert and Roberta. Her brother Edward LeRoy married Minnie Bishop in Sep 1909 and in 1910 their daughter Pauline was born. Sadly, Edward LeRoy died in 1911 and little Pauline died in 1917.  Wildie, the child born after her father was lost at sea, didn’t marry until 1919. She married Nelson Ward, a cousin, his mother being Esther Cole. Both Nelson and Wildie could claim Ebenezer as their gt. grandfather. Lucinda died Nov 4 1919 after burying just about everyone in her family.

A recap of the deaths Lucinda faced:
1874 – a son
1876 – Her grandmother Cole died
1877 – ten days apart, 2 daughters and a son
1878 – a son and her grandfather Buck died
1881 – Her grandmother Buck died
1883 – a son
1887 – a son, her husband and her brother-in-law
1897 – Her father died
1904 – Her mother died
1909 – her 2nd husband
1911 – her last son
1917 – her granddaughter

Two of Wildie’s children would also die at young ages. However, Wildie lived until 1969, Belle lived into late 1950’s, early 60’s, during which time my grandmother would correspond with her. All of Belle’s children lived.

Losing a child is a gut wrenching, life altering event. Lucinda buried 8 of her 10 children, 2 husbands and a granddaughter. She was 74 when she died and I can only hope that some time in her life she knew and experienced some happiness and some peace.

Family records and memories

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